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Caley Thistle’s James Carragher plays down notion of additional pressure of following in his father’s footsteps

The son of former Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher is eager to make the best of his Highland loan move.

Defender James Carragher, who is on loan with Inverness from Wigan Athletic.
James Carragher is determined to get game-time and fitness with Caley Thistle while on loan from Wigan Athletic. Image: SNS

James Carragher insists his famous surname doesn’t pile pressure on him as he aims to kick his career forward with Caley Thistle.

The on-loan Wigan defender, who is the son of former Liverpool legend, ex-England defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie, is determined to enjoy his five months in the north of Scotland.

An assured debut in the recent 1-0 loss against Championship leaders Dundee United was followed by a 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Lowland League Broomhill. 

Saturday sees eighth-placed ICT head to Fife to tackle second-top team Raith Rovers and, after featuring just once this term for League One Wigan, the 21-year-old is focused on shining in the Highlands.

James Carragher in action for Caley Thistle. Image: SNS

Keen to be seen in his own right

While Inverness fans will be buzzing to land Carragher junior, the player, who was on loan at Oldham last term, is focused on walking his own path.

When asked about the expectancy around the name, he said: “It doesn’t really challenge me – it might challenge other people, because they are judging me against my dad.

“Being honest, I just play my own game. I’m my own person, but he obviously helps me a lot and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

“I don’t go on to a pitch thinking people are going to judge me, I just go and play my own game. It doesn’t really affect me.

“Especially as you get older and you’re meeting proper football people, they like to have a bit of banter on the pitch, and that’s just something you’ve got to get over.

“In terms of how I play, who my dad is doesn’t enter my mind.”

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson made Jamie Carragher his first January signing. Image: SNS

Ferguson jnr was school team-mate

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson has known the Carraghers for decades and knew his loan defender since he was a kid.

But Carragher explained the connection mainly stems from being from the same school as Duncan’s son Cameron.

He said: “I went to school with the gaffer’s son in Liverpool.

“I was good mates with him for a while, and then he moved up to Newcastle.

“I’ve always kept in good contact with the gaffer, and he was at Forest Green last year which didn’t go so well for him, but that wasn’t his fault.

“You see what’s happened there over the last couple of years, and it’s just a bit of a mad club to be honest.

“I’ve known the gaffer for a while, and obviously as soon as he knew I was available he got me up here as quickly as possible.

“I’ve known his lad Cameron for a while though, so that’s where the link comes in.

“We played in the same school team up to a certain point – then he was at Everton, and I was at Liverpool, and they put the blocks on you playing for your school sometimes.

“He’s tall like his dad, he can hold the ball up, he’s a good player.”

James Carragher playing for Wigan against Hull City in August 2021. Image: Greig Cowie/Shutterstock

Swift ICT switch suited Carragher

Injury troubles have hampered Carragher this season and, while he didn’t want to detail the problems in depth, he’s looking at the positives

He said: “I’ve been really unlucky, I think.

“I’ve got to the bottom of them now, but without delving too much into it I had about 18 months of no football and another six months of niggles on and off.

“I only got back training full-time in the middle of October, so as soon as January came, I wanted to go out and play.

“That’s why the loan happened so quickly compared to how they usually are – I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible and get games in because I haven’t played much football over the last couple of years.”

Jamie Carragher will watch son James play for ICT next month. Image: Greig Cowie/Shutterstock

Jamie poised for two Inverness visits

There has been talk of Jamie Carragher making the trip to Inverness to watch him play and James says he won’t be the only family member bound for the Caledonian Stadium soon.

He said: “He’s planning to come up for the Queen’s Park game on February 3, and the Hibs Scottish Cup game (on February 10). Whenever he gets the chance to come and watch me, he does.

“My grandad Philly is the same – even more so than my dad really, because when my dad was playing my grandad took me everywhere. Whenever they get the chance to come and watch me they’re always there, no matter where it is.

“You’ll know my grandad straight away, he’s just a loud Scouse voice shouting in the crowd. When he’s home, he will be at every game.

“I think he was at Liverpool up until under-14s, then he had a bad injury or something and it just didn’t quite develop.

“He has managed Sunday league teams since he was about 20, and he played at an amateur level, so he knows what he’s talking about.

“We don’t have to go into what my dad has done in the game, but we’re a good footballing family.”

James Carragher encouraged by Caley Thistle prospects after debut against Dundee United